Mum trying to find lost 'heart' of daughter who died days after birthday

Deborah and Chris swimming with their daughter Jovie

Deborah and Chris swimming with their daughter Jovie - Credit: Deborah Goddard

A mum whose daughter died just days after her first birthday has revealed her heartbreak at losing a precious matching knitted heart she buried her with.

Deborah Goddard's daughter Jovie was born with a chromosome 7 deletion which meant her brain did not develop fully during pregnancy. 

After battling for a year and 11 days, Jovie died on April 11 this year at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital.

Jovie was born with a chromosome 7 deletion which caused her to have holoprosencephaly, microcephaly and epilepsy

Jovie was born with a chromosome 7 deletion - Credit: Deborah Goddard

Following their daughter's death, Ms Goddard and her partner Chris, who live in Lowestoft, were given a box of items which included two hearts and bunnies to help treasure Jovie.

Ms Goddard said: "After she died we went to the East Anglian Children's Hospice and stayed with her for a few days.

"The whole time I had my heart and she had hers and I swapped them when she was taken to the funeral home.

"I went to see her every day for three weeks and we would always swap hearts - I always told her we were recharging them."

The missing knitted heart

The missing knitted heart - Credit: Deborah Goddard

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Ms Goddard has kept the heart with her ever since Jovie's death and wore it on a chain around her neck.

But after putting it on the window sill after she got in the bath on Monday (June 27), she later realised it had vanished.

"It didn't even cross my mind about what could happen," she said. "We do have a lot of seagulls that sit on our roof so they could have taken it or it might have blown away.

The chain that Deborah used to hold the heart in

The chain that Deborah used to hold the heart in - Credit: Deborah Goddard

"Where we live there's a walkway so someone could have picked it up on the school run as it is a popular route.

"I know it's only a knitted heart but she had it, it was our thing."

Throughout the family's journey with Jovie, Ms Goddard, who lives in the town's Princes Road, documented her life through a Facebook group that attracted more than 2,800 members and set up a charity called Jovie's Journey.

Jovie pictured celebrating her first birthday

Jovie pictured celebrating her first birthday - Credit: Deborah Goddard

The 36-year-old tried to make her daughter's life as fulfilling as possible, enjoying trips to the park and play dates with friends before celebrating her first birthday.

She added: "I feel like she was sent here for a reason - Jovie wasn't just another baby.

"I know her life was short but she's touched so many lives.

"I just really need that heart back."